PROTESTS over plans to close another three banks in North Ayrshire will continue this weekend, with locals urged to sign a petition against the move.

Organised by the SNP, the event in Kilwinning on Saturday morning aims to gather as many signatures as possible ahead of a presentation of the petition to Parliament by North Ayrshire and Arran MP, Patricia Gibson.

This event will be followed up with similar events in both Kilbirnie and Saltcoats, the other two towns in North Ayrshire which the banking giant are pulling out of.

SNP Councillor for Kilwinning, Scott Davidson, said of the event: “It’s not acceptable that this bank, which is more than 70 per cent owned by the taxpayer, has failed to engage with customers or the communities they serve.

“I’ll be up the town (near RBS) collecting signatures with Patricia and our team for a petition which she will be presenting to Westminster to demonstrate the sense of betrayal and abandonment felt by our communities, job losses, and urging RBS to think again and for the UK Government to bring its influence on this disgraceful situation.

“Make sure your voice is heard - see you on Saturday 13th.”

The event will be from 10am-12pm on Saturday on Kilwinning Main Street.

MP Ms Gibson has expressed her anger over the Royal Bank of Scotland’s handling of the latest round of branch closures, with those in Kilbirnie, Kilwinning and Saltcoats scheduled to shut in June.

The Herald exclusively revealed that the branches had been earmarked for closure back in November 2017 and the MP had written to RBS bosses following the news.

Mrs Gibson wrote to RBS Chief Executive Ross McEwan, lodging an Early Day Motion on the issue, and tabling for a debate at Westminster specifically on how North Ayrshire communities will be affected by these closures.

She has now launched the petition at Westminster and will campaign to obtain signatures.

Patricia said: “I am hugely disappointed by the disregard shown to the people of North Ayrshire.

“It is simply unacceptable that this bank, which is 72.9 per cent owned by the taxpayer has failed to engage with its own customers, or consult with the communities they are supposed to serve.

“These closures represent a serious loss of valuable local facilities that will penalise poor, elderly disabled customers the most.

“Seven towns in my constituency now face the prospect of having no bank at all and it seems the only concern of RBS is how quickly they can shut up shop and leave. The response I received from RBS, whilst promising mobile banks to replace branches earmarked for closure, falls far short of what the people of North Ayrshire expect.

“Customers feel let down by banks whose digital focus is at the expense of the face to face contact that so many people value. It is high time that changed.

“The petition I have launched allows local people to demonstrate the sense of betrayal and abandonment felt by our communities, as well as voice their concerns over branch and job losses.

“It urges the Bank to think again and pushes for the UK Government to bring its influence to bear on this disgraceful situation. Banks cannot continue treating customers as an inconvenient afterthought.

“I have no intention of letting RBS off the hook and will persist in pressing for them to reconsider.”